Maryland (9-10, B1G) won three of four games this weekend in its split series with Northwestern and No. 25 Michigan. The Terps defeated the Wildcats in both games, and split the two-game series with No. 25 Michigan.
In Game 1 of the weekend, Maryland came back for a 4-3 victory over Northwestern. The Terps continued their success against the Wildcats in Game 2 with an 8-4 victory. Maryland starter Nick Dean and reliever Ryan Ramsey combined to limit Northwestern to four runs on six hits and struck out 11 in Game 2.
Northwestern jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run home run in the first inning of the bat of catcher Michael Trautwein. Despite the early deficit Maryland battled back to a 3-2 lead after four innings first with an RBI double by third baseman Matthew Shaw in the third followed up by a two-run homer from second baseman Tommy Gardiner in the bottom of the fourth.
Northwestern went up 4-3 on homers by right fielder Leo Kaplan in the fifth and second baseman Vincent Bianchina in the sixth. However, Maryland took a 6-4 advantage on a two-run RBI by first baseman Maxwell Costes that scored center fielder Chris Alleyne and catcher Justin Vought. Costes added two more RBI in the eighth inning that scored Bednar and Alleyne ensuring Maryland’s 8-4 victory. He was incredibly productive for the Terps finishing game two 4-5 at the plate with four RBI’s.
“Today was a great day,” Costes said. “I could care less if they were singles or home runs. As long as I was able to help the team and we got a win, that is all that really matters.”
After sweeping Northwestern, the Wolverines took game three from the Terps 6-5 in a come from behind victory. The Terps struck first in the bottom of the first as Shaw delivered his second home run of the weekend.
Connor Staine struggled early with his control, loading the bases for the Wolverines in the third inning. Vaughn brought in reliever Sean Fisher, who faced a tough task with the bases loaded. The Wolverines converted on the opportunity as first baseman Jimmy Obertop crushed a grand slam giving the Wolverines a 4-2 lead after three innings.
Maryland tied the score 4-4 after Alleyne walked and Bednar jacked a two-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth. Yet, the Wolverines responded once again with a sac bunt by shortstop Benjamin Sems that scored Obertop. In a back and forth affair, Maryland tied the score at five when catcher Luke Shliger singled to drive in Bednar. However, a pinch-hit home run by Danny Zimmerman in the ninth off of reliever David Falco gave the Wolverines a 6-5 victory in a tight contest.
“I thought the will to win was as high as I’ve seen it in a long time,” Vaughn said. “I don’t think that game was lost in the ninth; it was lost in that four-run third.”
In the rubber match of the weekend Maryland’s bats exploded in a 17-7 victory.
“That was a good way to finish off the weekend,” Vaughn said. “They were a swing better or a pitch better than we were yesterday.”
Maryland took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after a leadoff single oby Alleyne off Michigan starter Blake Beers. Then Alleyne stole second and third base coming in to score on a sac fly from Costes. While Jason Savacool has been dominant this season he struggled early against the Wolverines allowing several hits and a wild pitch that put the Wolverines back on top 2-1.
“[Savacool] went out there today and competed,” Vaughn said. “He just didn’t have great feel today.”
Michigan continued to find success in the second inning adding two more runs giving them a 4-1 lead after the top half of the second. While Maryland’s pitching struggled early the bats picked them up with Gardiner’s two-run home run in the bottom of the second trimming the deficit to 4-3.
Trailing 6-3 after another Wolverines home run, Maryland slowly mounted its comeback in the bottom of the fourth. Cowles delivered a solo shot that brought Maryland to within two, as relievers Sean Heine and Tyler Blohm delivered out of the bullpen.
“The story of the game was Sean Heine and Tyler Blohm,” Vaughn said. “Those two guys gave us that steady force in the middle to turn it over to Bello in the end and to give our offense some time to do some things.”
From that point on it was all Terps as they exploited Michigan’s miscues. In the bottom of the sixth inning Maryland scored seven runs on five hits. Alleyne provided a two-RBI single while, the Terps also scored on a HBP and a throwing error. Shliger continued continued Maryland’s success with an RBI double as Tucker Flint drove him completing the seen-run frame.
The runs kept coming as Michigan brought in Chase Allen. Maryland led 11-6 after Alleyne hit an RBI single that scored Flint. Costes blew the game wide open with a three-run double that scored Gardiner, Alleyne and Gardiner extending Maryland’s lead to 14-6. Shaw drove in Costes with an RBI double that put Maryland up 15-6 in the bottom of the sixth.
Maryland added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Cowles singled and advanced to second on an Allen wild pitch. After a walk to Flint, a two-run triple by Alleyne extended the Maryland lead to 17-6.
“I wish we could have finished off [Sunday] and swept the weekend,” Vaughn said. “Now our attention shifts to a really good Nebraska team.”
Maryland faces the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Neb for three games beginning on April 9.